Memes and Milk Tea Alliances: Ludic activism in Taiwan in 2021

Written by Genevieve Leung. The Milk Tea Alliance was formed when Mainland Chinese social media users attacked two Thai celebrities to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan independence activists. Thai social media users deployed humour to combat the attacks, and Taiwan and Hong Kong users joined in, using the shared custom of drinking milk tea, along with various minoritized statuses, as the cohesive forces that “naturally” drew them together.

Celebrity and Spokes-character Endorsement in Taiwan

Written by En-Chi Chang. ‘I started my day by putting on my Uniqlo LifeWear coat endorsed by Vivian Hsu. Then I headed out and stopped by 7-Eleven to buy a cup of City Coffee endorsed by Gui, Lun-Mei (桂綸鎂) for breakfast. Then, rushing to the MRT station, I used Open-chan(Open將) iCash card to take the MRT train to work. Though I do not have an ASUS ROG 5 designed by Nyjah Huston, my ACER endorsed by GBOYSWAG (鼓鼓) was just fine for work. After work, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner at Eatogether endorsed by Accusefive (五告人). Then I went home and treated myself with a round of massage on my Fuji Massage chair endorsed by Ariel Lin (林依晨) while playing the game ‘Lineage II’ (天堂II) endorsed by Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武).’

President Tsai’s Celebrity Marketing

Written by Hsin-I Sydney Yueh. On November 13, 2021, NBA player Enes Kanter posted a Twitter message, stating that Taiwan is “not a part of China”; this particular video elicited a warm-hearted response from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. She said, “Thank you, Enes, for standing with Taiwan and standing up for democracy.” Kanter quoted Tsai’s reply and said he wanted to “meet the brave people of Taiwan.”

Taiwan’s Music Reimagined in Garden Mingle: Is Blossoming Creativity Grounded in Resilient Infrastructure?

Written by Chen-Yu Lin. While the presence of music is found mainly in the side events of TCCF, it implies that music is an effective and powerful medium to engage the public and bring publicity. However, the relationship between music and other cultural technologies is yet to be probed, problematized, and identified. While the influence of technologies is praised and habitually presented in a positive light in TCCF, the unceasing tension between music creators and technological development—highlighted by discussions of streaming royalties and antitrust regulations—is concealed.

No Island Left Behind: Cross-Strait Relations in China’s National Museums

Written by Shih Chang. On October 25th, 2020, an exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of the recovery of Taiwan from Japanese colonial rule was held at the National Museum of China. The exhibition is divided into six sections that aim to show the “complete history” of the island of Taiwan from ancient to modern times. The first four sections: “Treasure Island, Taiwan,” “Nine States of Common Sorrow,” “Protecting Sovereignty against Japanese” Sovereign,” “Long Song as a Sword,” “Taiwan fending off the Japanese,” and “Cross-Strait Dreams,” objectively recreates the history of Taiwan’s “return to the motherland” and the development of cross-strait relations.

From Meteor Garden to BL? 20 Years of Taiwanese Pop Culture in The Philippines

Written by Yi-Yu Lai. “Have you ever watched Meteor Garden (流星花園) before? I was so crazy about Dao Ming Si and his gang before!” Many Taiwanese might be familiar with the similar conversation when they first met their Filipino friends. Since my friends know I am from Taiwan, they sometimes asked me to sing its theme song Qing Fei De Yi (情非得已) for them. They also love to hum the tune to me, though they cannot speak Mandarin at all.

Embracing Taiwan in Vietnamese Media

Written by Huynh Tam Sang and Tran Hoang Nhung. Taiwan’s popular culture—actors, idols, music, and dramas, usually known as the “Taiwanese Waves,” has gained popularity on Vietnamese media sites. The 2004—2008 period saw a boom of Taiwanese idol dramas, e.g. “It Started with a Kiss, 2005” (惡作劇之吻), “The Prince Who Turns into a Frog, 2005” (王子變青蛙), “The Tricks of Boys and Girls, 2006” (花樣少年少女), “My Lucky Star, 2007” (放羊的星星), screened on Vietnam’s TV channels. Taiwan’s singers and bands, e.g., F4, 183 Club, 7 Flowers, S.H.E, Jay Chou, were once familiar among Vietnamese youths.

The Fear Factor: [Chinese] Censorship on Taiwanese Popular Music

Written by Chen-Yu Lin, Yun-Siou Chen and Yan-Shouh Chen. Music is a powerful symbolic good, and it is not uncommon that this symbolic good can be shipped into opposing – or different – ideological systems, influencing other societies. However, sometimes musicians fear the consequences of singing or expressing what they want. As South African musician John Clegg once said, “censorship is based on fear”. Regardless of forms, music censorship requires an agent capable of negatively affecting a musician, whether that means imprisonment, loss of income or receiving negative comments online.

Back to the 80s: Taiwanese-American Intellectuals’ Views on Taiwan Relationship in Two Oversea Magazines

Written by Sui Lam Cheung. Taiwan’s international status and sovereignty have always been closely related to US international policies. As a result, the US-Taiwan relation has always attracted widespread attention and discussion. Thus, scholars have begun to pay attention to the American aid culture in economic and cultural fields. For instance, Wang Meihsiang and Chen Chienchung have analysed the US aid literature system from a sociology of literature perspective to explain how Taiwanese intellectuals received direct or indirect economic assistance from the United States. This assistance was used to introduce or develop related cultural production literary works and cultural phenomena. In addition to examining the development of Taiwan’s literary field, US aid culture can also be another perspective to examine non-official views other than the official discourse of the US and Taiwan.

Does Press Freedom Come with Responsibility?

Written by Lihyun Lin and Chun-yi Lee. On November 18, 2020, the National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan refused to renew the licence of CTiTV. This decision caused much protest from the opposition party, with the Kuomintang (KMT)’s high-pitch of ‘protecting press freedom.’ We found ironic how the KMT used Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) ‘s case as an example to indicate how the ruling party in Taiwan – the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – intervened in press freedom and sacrificed Taiwan’s democracy.

The Role of Non-state Actors in Forging Closer India-Taiwan Relations

Written by Don McLain Gill. As Taiwan celebrates its National Day on October 10, the Indian media has played a pivotal role in creating an amiable platform for fostering closer relations between the two peoples. Throughout history, non-state actors such as the media, think tanks, and other organisations have continuously played a crucial role in forging closer ties between Taiwan and India. However, if India continues to appease China vis-à-vis its “One China Policy,” relations between New Delhi and Taipei may not be significantly maximised.

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